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From novice to world champion in less than a year

Posted onPosted on 10th Nov

When Portland College learner David Stroughton decided to have a go at powerlifting he could not have dreamed it would be the start of a remarkable rise up the sporting ladder.

David started powerlifting during Portland’s enrichment week in early 2023.

Looking for a local activity to get involved in, he took part in the powerlifting session at the college, where he caught the eye of coaches and sports tutor Stevie Speakman, who is involved in powerlifting outside Portland.

In May, he competed in the British Powerlifting Championship, where he lifted 138kg, more than double his own body weight. It was enough to win the junior category and saw him qualify for the European Championships.

David went on to win the European Championships and qualify for the World Championships, where David achieved his own personal best and was crowned world champion.

“When I got there at the ‘worlds’, I was nervous and excited to get weighed in,” he said.

“I was weighed as 63.5kg. Knowing I had made the weight, I got settled in to watch all the other teams as well as my GB team.

“While watching, I was getting mentally and physically ready for something that was new to me — a make or break moment.

“I got three green lights on every lift. My final lift was meant to be 160kg, but without even realising it was actually 162.5kg, which my coach set before I got on the platform. I lifted it, got my personal best and with that two international records and first place world champion!

“Without the support of college and everyone else, I could not have got that far. I would like to thank the college for all their support and also my sponsor, Laing O Rourke, who made it possible for me to attend the World Championships by helping with my fees and kit.”

Dave Winter, curriculum manager at Portland, added: “This is an unreal achievement and is testament to David’s hard work, commitment, and passion. The whole college is so proud.”